There’s lots of talk in Ontario’s workplaces and online about workplace violence and harassment and the Bill 168 amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Hopefully by now the message is getting through, and employers are taking the steps to prepare for the June 15 deadline. (That’s about three weeks away!)
The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act violence and harassment prevention provisions (Bill 168) require an employer to take all reasonable precautions in the circumstances for the protection of all employees if a domestic violence situation is likely to expose a worker to physical injury in the workplace and the employer becomes aware or ought reasonably to be aware of the situation.
But what does that imply? The law states the requirement but provides little guidance on what employers need to do to prevent domestic violence from spilling into the workplace. In addition, many employers are not comfortable addressing a situation of such a personal nature. It is not an easy task to complete and might never be.